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Shared Intimacies

Although a lesser draw, 92Y Tribeca’s latest show featured another trio of top comedians.

Pictured: Wyatt Cenac and Joe DeRosa.

Comedians Joe DeRosa and Wyatt Cenac appeared as part of a much different evening of comedy than the previous week’s (see review) at 92Y Tribeca on January 15, which was studded with alternative stars including Janeane Garofalo, David Cross and Paul F. Tompkins.

Where that trio attracted a standing room crowd, DeRosa and Cenac, along with host Liam McEneaney and surprise guest Jim Gaffigan, had a sparse collection of audience members at tables in the same room, but did their best with that. Granted, it was a really cold night, one for the true diehards to make it out.

Cenac projects an inventive albeit dour personality, not quite what one would expect from his more genial appearances on the Daily Show. For instance, he wonders about kidney transplant stories that recently made news -- particularly if a woman who donated a kidney to her husband had first seen the other story of a husband suing in a divorce for a kidney he donated, would she still have gone through with it? And with his low voice, it’s all the more surprising when Cenac pulls out a flawless vocal impression of a Jewish grandmother.

However, DeRosa, about to get a showcase with a Comedy Central special, was the true find of the night, for those who weren’t familiar with him. He projects a frustrated, addictive and weird personality, and packed the most material into the time he had. (Each comedian did about 20 minutes worth).

Gaffigan seemed to be unveiling and trying out new material, doing extended riffs on bowling, ketchup and other subjects that would be mundane in anyone else’s hands, all punctuated with his trademark asides.

Both Cenac and DeRosa gave mild nods to crowd work, interacting a little here and there, only when encouraged by stray comments from the audience. Rather than detracting from the show as you might expect, though, it added to the intimate feel of the performance. The feel of the room also made DeRosa’s energy more kinetic and crackling, making him the sharpest performer on the bill.




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